COLUMBIA — Although the sky was gray on Saturday and a cold rain was falling, Stephens Lake Park was full of smiles and a rainbow of colors.
The first Color Dash in Columbia took place Saturday afternoon at the park to benefit the Central Missouri Humane Society.
Cordy Brannan, 24, was one of the more than 1,000 T-shirt-clad participants.
And as the race got underway, two women wearing rainbow-colored tutu skirts threw packets filled with colored dust in the air. As participants, including Brannan, ran through the 5,000-meter race, they became colored by the array of dyes being thrown on them. And the slick mud on the sidewalk was changed from a dull gray-brown to bright pink and yellow hues.
Brannan was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps in 2008 after suffering a stress fracture on the lower part of her pelvis while completing an obstacle course. Saturday's 5K was part of Brannan's recovery efforts.
"The run definitely showed me that I have a lot of catching up to do as far as breathing and everything," Brannan said.
Although it was difficult for her at times, the run definitely had the right element of fun. And she'd joyfully do it again.
By the end of the race, her T-shirt, was stained with bright shades of green and blue and pink and yellow.
Saturday started as an ugly day, but Colin LaVaute, shelter relations coordinator for the Humane Society, said he didn't think the rain would spoil the event.
And it didn't.
In its first year, the 5K raised $7,000 for the Humane Society.
"A good portion of our budget is derived from donations and fundraisers like this," LaVaute said. "This really helps all the furry animals we have down there at the shelter."
After the race was over and every T-shirt had been turned into a rainbow of colors, two small boys made snow angels in the blue dust on the sidewalk.
But Brannan didn't want to get any messier. After a successful run, she said she had to become a little less colorful before going to work later in the day.
Supervising editor is Edward Hart.